Zeldman: Flash, iPad, Standards

Jeffrey Zeldman:

Lack of Flash in the iPad (and before that, in the iPhone) is a win for accessible, standards-based design. Not because Flash is bad, but because the increasing popularity of devices that don’t support Flash is going to force recalcitrant web developers to build the semantic HTML layer first. Additional layers of Flash UX can then be optionally added in, just as, in proper, accessible, standards-based development, JavaScript UX enhancements are added only after we verify that the site works without them.

Zeldman's being very diplomatic here. People haven't failed to design the semantic HTML layer first because they were too busy. Adobe's invested tons of money and time toward making Flash the best tool for generating the worst kind of web sites—sense-assaulting, animated monstrosities that are impossible for search engines to index, or for anyone who doesn't have the original .FLA file to edit—with almost no effort. I don't think there is a client-appeasing "Make My Logo Bigger" button in Flash, but it's not like Adobe would hesitate to put one in.

Flash is a toxic performance-enhancing drug, and just as athletes have had to start getting banned from things to quit using steroids, hack web designers are gonna have to start losing work before online restaurant menus are usable again.